Ikanos Communications has introduced a new technology designed to fight a specific type of noise on DSL-based lines that can prove disastrous, especially to video transmissions.
Sudden, large noise changes on the DSL line lead to service interruptions; these can include the complete severance of a DSL connection that may last for tens of seconds. DSL systems automatically compensate for this particular type of noise by dropping data rates – to the point where the connection might be dropped entirely. If so, a DSL system would simply re-establish the connection, Ikanos explained.
Video, however, has little tolerance for even momentary interruptions of connectivity. Current technology to address the issue, called SRA, has proved inadequate to address this specific type of noise.
Operators who deliver IPTV via DSL have not characterized the extent of the problem, said Ikanos marketing director Piyush Sevalia, but it’s a problem they definitely want solved. Several companies are developing the proposals.
Ikanos calls its approach Rapid Rate Adaptation. RRA technology minimizes such link drops by monitoring the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and dynamically adapting data rates to accommodate the additional noise without dropping the connection.
“Ikanos’ RRA technology provides us with a significant competitive differentiator,” said Hiromitsu Awai, general manager of technical marketing at Sumitomo Electric Networks Inc. “When sudden, large noise profiles appear on the DSL line, most DSL links are broken, thus interrupting service. RRA ensures that premium services such as triple play and interactive broadband over VDSL2 are not interrupted in such noisy conditions, which results in a significantly improved user experience. RRA is therefore enormously beneficial for carriers that are planning to offer triple play services and compete with cable providers.”
RRA is software based, so if standards bodies decide on a variant technology, Ikanos will be able to update it. RRA can only be downloaded to Ikanos’ current generation of ICs.
Ikanos said RRA technology is available in demonstration mode today. Production releases are expected to be available early next year.